A pair of innovators from Toronto have decided to bring their unique skillset and decades of experience to Muskoka.
The recently created Muskoka Cottage Developments is the brainchild of Joshua Dias and John Znaczko. Dias is an international entrepreneur, investor, president of Ensō Innōvations and former president of Trillium Group, while Znaczko is an engineer with 40 years of experience working on builds around the globe ranging from historic restorations to major residential and commercial builds.
“We decided we wanted to step away from the hurried pace of the city and really focus on putting all of our experience and creativity to good use,” says Dias. “Muskoka was the natural fit. I’m a long-time local cottager, and environmentally sustainable cottages and homes that blend in with the surroundings are what people are looking for in Muskoka.”
Muskoka Cottage Developments is focused on revolutionizing the way homes and cottages are designed and built, says Dias.
“We’re committed to challenging existing parameters and innovating the construction process to create significant value for our clients, investors, and Muskoka community stakeholders,” says Dias, who owned a cottage for 10 years on the Black River in Vankoughnet, just east of Bracebridge. “We really care about Muskoka and the environment here and this is a great opportunity for us to put our creativity to work.”
Josh Dias (left) and John Znaczko are bringing their innovative approach to home and cottage design and construction to Muskoka
Because they have only recently decided to focus their efforts in the region, Muskoka Cottage Developments is also one of the only builders available to get started immediately.
“I know some builders in Muskoka are backlogged up to 24 months or more but we have a team of experienced tradespeople ready to go right now,” he says. “That’s the benefit of us having decades of experience in the city. These people are highly skilled and ready to come up and spend the entire week in the area and then return home on the weekends.”
Muskoka Cottage Developments works closely with Ensō Innōvations to build sustainable and net zero cottages and homes. Ensō Innōvations is an architecture innovation company working to make buildings renewable and affordable by embracing principles of the circular economy. Their vision is to redefine revenue in terms of environmental full-cost accounting that would contribute to the health of both people and nature.
They help plan innovative projects and their unique approach uses cutting-edge computational techniques that take advantage of artificial intelligence, parametric design, simulation, and optimization to evaluate thousands of possible design solutions, finding the right balance of trade-offs. Their solutions are informed by local conditions, pragmatic use of resources, and sustainability standards such as LEED and WELL, says Dias.
The group also works with Element5, which was founded by Muskokan Patrick Chouinard.
“Element5 is a business that engineers, manufactures, and installs cross-laminated timber or CLT,” says Dias. “This product is stronger than concrete and we’re really excited to be working with Patrick and doing cottages together.”
The options Muskoka Cottage Developments can provide run the gamut. That includes everything from design to construction, and even teardowns and renovations.
Incorporating cutting-edge design, environmental building principles, and the ability to start work immediately, Muskoka Cottage Developments has positioned itself to be one of the most innovative players in Muskoka for years to come.
Learn more at muskokabuilds.com or by calling 416-836-7056 or 416-885-4855.
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